Working as a one man band is difficult and takes a lot of skill, as Morgan expertly shows.
Still itís hard to keep up with everything, not just the tech of proper sound and lighting, but holding continuity and catching all the details.
We use Seinhauser radio lavs when we can and have straps, pads that cut down on mistakes like wardrobe rubbing against the mic.
We have these tacky foot pads that go on hard shoes when people walk down hard floors which sometimes helps, sometimes not.
We also have two Audio-Technica dual wireless systems, but we rarely use them. Theyíre more difficult to set up and the receivers are huge, especially if you have two.
Hanging them off a camera is a challenge. Iíd much rather hang 4 small Seinhauser's on a mount that even one of the Audio techniques duals.
If we donít have a sound tech, we still review the footage including the sound. Recording a walk and talk especially in a busy area is tough, in cities like Bangkok can almost be impossible.
If we miss it or canít get it we run the footage and have the subject loop the sound to a separate recorder, with headphones on. Itís not exact but is usually close even for people not trained as actors.
We slate everything we can, though with untrained talent I will run long takes as stopping, slating, saying rolling, speed action all the time tends to tense the subject up.
To keep running makes for extra footage, but comes across more natural if the talent doesnít get tense in the ďstart of the raceĒ mindset.
I also donít mind if people talk over each other, if it comes across natural. It makes it hard for the post sound tech, but is a nice style and can seem real and non scripted.
What a lot of people miss is foley sound which is not as drastic as it use to be. If itís a busy area, we alway record background noise, sometimes itís useful sometimes not.
Some things are just almost impossible to get real time. Helicopters are tough, gunfire also. Gunfire sounds like clack clack rather than menacing. Same with subtle sounds like walking through tall grass.
Fortunately almost every foley sound is available online, for very low prices, though we try to cover it on set/location.
This quick video/still compilation has bought foley sound and it works. (No reason to watch it all, but the first few seconds shows web bought foley sound of the helicopter.http://russellrutherford.com/multi_media_edit_rrg_cbp.mp4
When we have our sound tech, I make sure all sound radios to the cameras from his station. They hate it and also record it separately, but the RED 1ís have great sound recording and I canít tell the difference from the sound techs file and the in camera sound.
One trick I use to do, not as much anymore is to mount an old canon xl1 on some sticks and get it as close to the subject as possible with tight framing. The xl1 had great sound recording with a lot of easy controls and input options. I stopped it because collecting tape is just another step in the workflow.
I know one foley sound dept. in Hollywood that still uses an xl1 for some of their foley sound, though Hollywood never throws anything that works away.
I have a lot of expensive headphones and hate them all. Theyíre just too good and suppress too many glitches. Personally I use a set of white panasonic cheapo headsets because they hear everything.
A year ago on a location I could hear a hum, through my bargain headsets. I kept telling the sound tech I hear it, he was positive it wasnít there. Half way into the day, he caught it. Since we were running on mains either an hmi ballast was packing up, or just some type of resistance. To keep continuity we ran the hmis even when we werenít using them. Very lucky the hum was above the dialog so it was an easy fix. (whew).
One last thing that doesnít pertain exactly to sound is I have tried to stop hand/shoulder mounting all the time and use supports. Run and gun makes this hard, but unless slight movement is a style I just find I frame better with supports and allows the sound guys more continuity. Obviously trailing behind/in front of someone in locked step has to have movement, but I think Iíve seen way too many mobile phone videos where everything is shaking and moving.
I'm not suggesting my process is correct, It just works for me (usually).